Michael Scott is a character that’s been pushed to the edge of plausibility and likability plenty during the 4+ seasons of the Office. I was wondering where you, as writers, draw the line for Michael, or is there even one? Have there been Michael ideas that were dropped for being too outrageous? | Ryan in Milwaukee
A driving principle behind writing Michael Scott, a card tacked up in the writers’ room that says “Michael is not Homer.”
Michael driving into the lake is a real story Jen C. remembered when her parents first got a GPS the manual said “do not drive into a body of water” despite what the device tells you. She then read of real incidents where it actually happened. As for Michael, they said Steve knows him best and is not afraid to speak up if he doesn’t think Michael would do something too crazy.
They mentioned some of their favorite Michaelisms — like where Michael was the only one to remember Angela’s dead cat’s name, Sprinkles, and then within the same sentence called it Pringles. They like how Michael keeps forgetting that Jim and Pam are still together. It was apparently Paul’s idea in ‘The Deposition’ to have Michael throw the food off the table after Toby said some nice things to him.
Michael always has other people in mind when he does the things he does. He always thinks of other people first.
Greg brought up ‘Chair Model,’ where Dwight said “I will find her and bring her to you and she will bear your children” and Michael just said “Okay.”
There was another dropped line they talked about that involved a play on words or an expression Michael misused. They didn’t use it, but it got a good laugh from the audience. It was in Gay Witch Hunt — Toby had told Michael that Oscar was counting on his discretion. Michael then immediately outs Oscar in the office. When Toby questioned Michael, he said “yes, I discressed it.”
Would you guys ever consider doing a “live” episode of The Office? | Dean in Virginia
No. This would make talking heads describing what just happened impossible. I think someone said that the fact a show is “live” should not be the best thing about the show. It should be able to stand on its own.
“We’ve thought about it but could never do a live episode because it would be hard for the characters to jump into the conference room for a talking head scene.”
We saw Paul branch out into directing with Season 4’s ‘Money.’ Do any of the rest of you hold similar aspirations? | Kenna in Kentucky
Jen Celotta just directed her first episode (this week’s ‘Crime Aid,’ written by Charlie Grandy). Gene and Lee directed the upcoming webisodes. They joked about them doing everything together and they timed saying “action” in synch.
Some fans have expressed the opinion that the show is better when an episode takes place primarily within the confines of the Scranton office. Do you consciously try to limit how often the show takes place outside the office and what are the advantages/disadvantages of taking the characters out of their normal workspace? | Mark in Texas
Yes. They made an effort to have the first few episodes of this season be contained within the office. They have more money now, so its fun to go out of the office.